SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — Springfield could be expanding for the first time in nearly 20 years which could impact many different factors.
The city is weighing the pros and cons of both individual property owners and service workers who would be responsible for the new city areas.
Mary Lilly Smith, director for Planning and Development, says Springfield has been taking a back seat to expand its boundaries since the 1990s.
“Several on Council have said we really ought to be looking at this more comprehensively,” Smith said. “We ought to take a hard look at it and say this is an area that we want to grow in and so let’s go out and try to bring those folks into the city.”
No specific areas have been chosen just yet for the expansion.
Surrounding communities have been growing, but now leaders are ready to start making plans if they decide the city can handle it.
Smith says some major concerns for individual property owners are things like higher sales and use taxes, no open burning, no fireworks and no guarantee of treated roads or snow plowing during bad weather.
“Those considerations primarily on the public works, police and fireside that we need to look at,” Smith said. “Do we have adequate staffing? Are we inheriting problems? Is it an area where there are maybe public improvement s that are already needed that hasn’t been addressed. So those are the considerations we would be looking at.”
There are two parts to this annexation plan, according to Smith, for the short and long term. She says they are studying which areas would be best for the short term now, and the long term will likely be included in the Forward SGF 20 year comprehensive plan.
The pros and cons for property owners:
|Potential Benefits||Potential Concerns|
| -Lower monthly utilities|
-Potentially lower property taxes
-Improved fire protection and potentially lower insurance rates
-Improved police coverage
-Participate in City elections
-Serve on boards and commissions
-Advocate/lobby City Council
|-Higher sales/use tax rates|
-No open burning
-Discharge of firearms prohibited
-Enhanced land-use regulations
-No guarantee of snow-plowing or Treatments of streets
The pros and cons for the city:
| -Reduced jurisdictional confusion|
-Preserved and enhanced tax base
-More efficient delivery of services
-Opportunities to improve and expand services
-Expanded civic engagement and involvement
-Sustained regional leadership and influence
-More comprehensively managed growth and development
-Strengthened community character and cohesion
|-Increased demand for services|
-Infrastructure maintenance – streets traffic
-Increased demand for capital improvements and limited resources
-Can be a lengthy and costly process with an uncertain outcome (involuntary annexations)
-Obligation to temporarily reimburse affected Fire Protection Districts